The Mad Man's Manifesto

Found in a musty old book on the bargain rack at the used book story near the U.

I learned from reading the Wise Men – and then looking to see for myself if it was true – that there actually is no such thing as “security.” There is only the idea of it or belief in it, so it seems.

I’d been running around my whole life looking for or trying to get “possession” of something like “permanent security.” Meaning “feeling okay or even better than okay all the time.” Like I had some sort of “right” to being comfortable all (or even most of) the time.

Those guys all asserted that the idea of security is an invention of the same people who came up with gods and religion to give “hope” to the poor slobs at the bottom of cult-ural pyramid. So that the poor slobs would keep doing whatever it was that the guys at the top of the pyramid (like, say, the pharaohs) wanted them to do that wasn’t all that pleasant. Like slave away to make the pharaohs rich, buy the ■■■■ the other slobs made (while the pharaohs take their cut of the profits), and get bloody fighting to defend or even get more wealth for the (wealth-addicted?) pharaohs.

(I try regularly to float this idea in letters to the editor of The New York Times. Not surprisingly, they publish everything else I send them, but they never touch this stuff.) (Hmm. Wonder why.)

I also found out that “comfort” (which is not security, though it is regularly mistaken for such) is just momentary. It lasts however long it lasts, and then we get right back to being uncomfortable. And we call it “insecurity” because we were taught by everyone else living in the “consensus trance” to do so. No one ever questions it.

Almost no one, anyway. You found Foucalt. I think he’d figured all this out, or it sure sounds like it from the bits and pieces of his work I have read.

When I discovered that security was really just an idea, and that it didn’t actually exist – not because I read that, but because I could see that it was actually the case – it was like I stepped out of the Time Warp of Past & Future Mystification and into the present moment. (Which is all there actually is; the past and future being only memories and projections, are they not?)

I was suddenly empowered with an awareness of What Is (vs. What is Not) that has made it possible to be pretty comfortable all the time without having to fix myself with any pricey obsessions, compulsions or addictions. Fear just seemed to evaporate. My “requirements” disappeared. My “expectations” fell away. My “musts,” “oughts,” “shoulds,” “have-to’s” and RULES became meaningless. Along with my “must NOTs,” my “should NOTs,” etc.

It just wasn’t necessary any more to chase the fix IF the fix was more harmful than beneficial. I learned I could sit still and do nothing if I had to, and that it would not make me crazy if that was the only choice I had.

The patients at the asylum who suffer the most seem to me to be those who are still hunting for lasting comfort and security. They want something that is non-existent. Something they were taught to insist must be that is as non-existent as the “CIA’s radio broadcasts into their brains.” They spend their entire waking lives looking for something that doesn’t exist… but must exist because they were taught somewhere to BELIEVE in ■■■■■■■■.

Security
by Hunter S. Thompson (1955).
Security … what does this word mean in relation to life as we know it today? For the most part, it means safety and freedom from worry. It is said to be the end that all men strive for; but is security a utopian goal or is it another word for rut?
Let us visualize the secure man; and by this term, I mean a man who has settled for financial and personal security for his goal in life. In general, he is a man who has pushed ambition and initiative aside and settled down, so to speak, in a boring, but safe and comfortable rut for the rest of his life. His future is but an extension of his present, and he accepts it as such with a complacent shrug of his shoulders. His ideas and ideals are those of society in general and he is accepted as a respectable, but average and prosaic man. But is he a man? has he any self-respect or pride in himself? How could he, when he has risked nothing and gained nothing? What does he think when he sees his youthful dreams of adventure, accomplishment, travel and romance buried under the cloak of conformity? How does he feel when he realizes that he has barely tasted the meal of life; when he sees the prison he has made for himself in pursuit of the almighty dollar? If he thinks this is all well and good, fine, but think of the tragedy of a man who has sacrificed his freedom on the altar of security, and wishes he could turn back the hands of time. A man is to be pitied who lacked the courage to accept the challenge of freedom and depart from the cushion of security and see life as it is instead of living it second-hand. Life has by-passed this man and he has watched from a secure place, afraid to seek anything better What has he done except to sit and wait for the tomorrow which never comes?
Turn back the pages of history and see the men who have shaped the destiny of the world. Security was never theirs, but they lived rather than existed. Where would the world be if all men had sought security and not taken risks or gambled with their lives on the chance that, if they won, life would be different and richer? It is from the bystanders (who are in the vast majority) that we receive the propaganda that life is not worth living, that life is drudgery, that the ambitions of youth must he laid aside for a life which is but a painful wait for death. These are the ones who squeeze what excitement they can from life out of the imaginations and experiences of others through books and movies. These are the insignificant and forgotten men who preach conformity because it is all they know. These are the men who dream at night of what could have been, but who wake at dawn to take their places at the now-familiar rut and to merely exist through another day. For them, the romance of life is long dead and they are forced to go through the years on a treadmill, cursing their existence, yet afraid to die because of the unknown which faces them after death. They lacked the only true courage: the kind which enables men to face the unknown regardless of the consequences.
As an afterthought, it seems hardly proper to write of life without once mentioning happiness; so we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?

Also makes me consider writing something under the title: Parables of a Mad God… Just to have something written under the name.

Mad Man’s Manifesto is good too. Probably more applicable.

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Looks like Hunter had a handle on the topic.

I think he might have just been trying to justify is reckless life style. I first read that a long time ago, was running full speed ahead blindly and I hit a wall. Mental security for me please. I feel like I could sit in the middle of a lawn for the rest of my life so long as the weather permitted. Phone/internet in hand of course.

You know what’s really fucken great man. Those moments where you forget about everything, especially the psychosis related stuff. It’s happening more frequently. Losing the context of my life, which was largely unnecessary if not hazardous to have floating around, it only perpetuated the madness.

Replace the words “context of my life” with “sense of I-dentity,” and see how that one plays.

Well identity is a good word for it. But I see my mind as this instantaneous thing existing on the very edge of the progression of time. There is very little room for identity there beyond the physical self. It’s the context and pretense which determines the thoughts unless one is truly creating something knew.

Just for the sake of argument.

Regarding other people and their view. Identity is something that is put on you from the outside.

Inversely, while they are similar, when your alone it is merely the context established in the past.

Perhaps context is not the right word. But I didn’t lose my sense of self, I lost the sense of the past that has led me to this point and will continue to keep me trapped if I don’t find a way to reduce its impact.

For them, yes. Go treat an infant as if it’s sense of security that is manifest in its behavior is all an illusion. Treat the child as if it’s trust is unwarrented and see how it ends up. My bets are on the trauma induced sz.

Stephen Hayes (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_C._Hayes), one of the current Big Names in psychotherapy would support the context notion. Most of the cognitive-behavioralists would support the notion of pretense, though I prefer the concept of appraisal according to typical unconscious beliefs installed by the forces of the culture from parents to prelates to media prods.

Initially, yes. But one can have a say in the matter as one becomes more self-aware or “mindful.” (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindfulness.)

I failed to ever get a sense of the *present," and therefore was imprisoned by the unconscious manipulations of past experience projected onto an actually non-existent future. To the mental health pro, what I just wrote is almost the definition of the functional mechanism of neurosis at the very least.

Which is precisely what I threw money and time at in the '90s and '00s. And find a way I did. A whole bunch of them in fact. EMDR, psychodynamic psychotherapy, existential psychotherapy, REBT, CBT, ACT, MBSR, MBBT, 10 StEPs, more.I just refused to give up and go back into (or stay in) the Terror Tunnel.

I can see how all three are influences on the instantaneous state that is the true human being.

All three things are very similar. Perhaps context is the most matter of fact, this is how it went, this is where you are, when taken literally. Pretense has a little more room for feelings and might contain more of the individual and their journey as the grew. The cultural parental programming is a strong influence and is enclosed in both context and pretense, but unlike the materialist view that is strictly physical, there was a great deal of conscious influence behind these factors of programming beliefs.

In short though, it’s all about escaping the past. I’m not talking about chasing highs, but more in the sense of classical enlightenment. Sat under the tree for 40 days until he began to quit thinking about where he came from and became more fully focused on what he wanted to do in the moment and perhaps in the future.

The worst part of recovery and having had controversial thoughts in the past and what not, is knowing in those reflective moments that if I’m not diligent I might start to review those thoughts and perspective I once explored. They wouldn’t have any belief behind them, but the thoughts enough are a nuisance. It’s like you can’t truly ever get over any experience that you’ve had, you have to learn to cope. You can learn to think differently and sometimes even get so distracted that you forgot about the potential of psychotic thoughts returning, but the mind is a sponge, it has excellent long term memory.

Steering the ship. Gotta stay the course. Thoughts lead to delusions or guilt or disgust then guilt/ then voices or messages. Such a pain. Keep that music playing folks.

This is something I would have really turned onto in high school. These days I am skeptical about the insight of these rugged individuals. Maybe forging your own path can give you some new perspectives, but it can also lead you astray. I know because I have always been fiercely independent, and I have gone astray before.

Yeah, I don’t regret finding all the perspective I’ve found in thinking for myself. That said I do know that I need to conform to the perspectives of the others just to get a long. Still I know that every few weeks or so I’ll have a conversation that will justify the path I’ve taken in life.

For a while I was trying to wake people up to conspiracy theories. I’ve given up on that as with many other things. I think that isolating is my next phase. Continuing to sort out this illness and reduce the trauma and content of my voices. To continue to reduce the sensitivity and ability to cope with the triggers. To solidify my mind. Maybe get some exercise.

This is wrong to do, but I keep doing it. I look back on what my mental experience used to be like before getting sick. Compared to the experience now it was paper thin. Very focused and self absorbed. Now I’m still self absorbed but there is a fullness that I feel in knowing what’s going on. I look at the others and wonder just how full their experience is and who is fleeting about like a candle in the wind. On a rational level though I know I have no insight into other people., still my mind draws up that picture. Clinging from statement to statement, getting stoned, losing tracks of things, not listening to others even when their name is called, I see all of this and cant help but to imagine their lack of awareness.

That last digression of a paragraph wasn’t called for but oh well. If I hadn’t had my experiences, well who knows. There is no changing it anyways gotta accept the past.

While I am definitely willing to listen to and respect the perspectives of others, I have learned to observe to notice/perceive to recognize the environment as it is rather than as others say it is.

Regardless of how much the boys on my bus may want them to approve of those boys, they are no longer allowed to sell themselves like intellectual prostitutes for the crumbs of communal pseudo-security.

For when they do that, they lose touch with what is and that has become way too costly in the past. I am willing to be a little ill at ease as the small price of being sufficiently aware.

I will argue that it is not about escaping fro the past but about remaining stuck in it. And then coming from the unacknowledged, unprocessed and unresolved past to project a future on the basis thereof.

But does he actually “get it” experientially, or is he jerking himself off with a bunch of ideas about it?

In the West, we tend to romanticize what we call “enlightenment,” when in fact it is nothing more than pure awareness of what is vs. what is not from one moment to the next. Our minds have trained to think it’s some Big ■■■■■■■ Deal, when it is utterly prosaic.

BUT, that said, those who can be relatively aware of what is from one moment to the next are NOT going to suffer from delusions and projections.

Dont you understand! !! we are all nuts here

I was “fiercely independent” for decades. But my so-called independence was built on introjected beliefs from others who claimed to be “authorities,” rather than experientially acquired insight from directly seeing, hearing and sensing what is vs. what is not. Perhaps, it is more simply explained thus: I didn’t “get” Taoism from reading a book. I got it from trying to grasp the concepts by looking, listening and using my interoception to see if the concepts squared with what is.

Only by the standards of those who say we are. Sometimes they are more or less “right.” And sometimes they are not.

I might be reading a more radical view into your comments than is reasonably attributable to you, but I do not grasp what you are getting at entirely - although i’m fascinated. First, you seem to suggest something like a neutral way of experiencing the world (that what is). This might be instrumental to cut off potential delusional thinking - in which case it’s fine of course, whatever serves you right. But I am not sure it is an accurate depiction of perception. I’m sure you know about gestalt figures. What is here? and of course, this can be taken to be the rule rather than the exception when it comes to perception. Each way of viewing such figures seems to be frontloaded by an interpretation. One does not infer the figure from it’s constituent lines, one rather is able to discern the constituents in virtue of perceiving the figure. It is true, with more or less effort, it is possible to see such a figure as a mere collection of lines and planes. It is no coincidence this takes effort, and it should be noted that the content is still conceptualized, be it in a mathematical vocabulary. I’m personally not sure whether there is such a thing as non-conceptual content of experience - but say there is, and suppose that one can train himself not to synthesize experience under a concept. I am having a hard time to imagine how one can live like that. It seems to me such a person will be living in a meaningless world - how does one act upon such a world?

On the other hand, if you do not intend such a radical view, I’m confused by your rejection of cult-ural consensus, athough, again, I might be reading a more radical view into you than you intend. For it seems that such consensus in action determines how concepts ought to be applied, establishing a concensus reality of conceptualized experience. One can of course do so differently - which seems to me to be the case in full-blown delusion.

I’m just being interested on how your technique works, if it is right to call it a technique. It seems to have helped you a lot. Since you’re obviously an intelligent person, I wonder what your thoughts on the how are.